Emperor Pilaf is the secondary antagonist of the Dragon Ball series.
Pilaf is a tiny 36-year-old imp who rules a giant isolated castle. He has just two followers, Shu and Mai, whom he loves to torture for their failures. Pilaf got one of the Dragon Balls and just waited for someone to arrive at his castle looking for his ball. As Son Goku and his friends came, he immediately sent his two henchmen, who imprisoned them and stole the Dragon Balls from them. With all the Dragon Balls, Pilaf summons Shenron to realize his wish. Goku tries to escape using a Kamehameha, but it only made a hole on the wall, from where Oolong managed to escape by turning into a bat. As Pilaf was about to ask his wish, Oolong jumps in and immediately asks for female's underwear, which Shenron grants to him. Pilaf obviously gets mad and catches them again, but Goku turns into an Oozaru ape and starts rampaging, destroying Pilaf's castle in the process. Pilaf tries escaping in a plane and shots a bomb at Goku, which merely knocks him out. Goku returns to normal and Pilaf flees.
Some time later, after the Red Ribbon Army is defeated, Goku gets all the Dragon Balls except for one. By going to the fortuneteller Baba, Goku finds it with Pilaf, who discovered a way to block the Dragon Radar to locate the Dragon Balls. He uses a gigantic robot to fight Goku, only to be defeated again. He later releases King Piccolo from his confinement in hopes he would help him conquer the world, only to be betrayed by him.
◾The name Pilaf is a pun on the rice dish of the same name. The simplified Chinese characters he wears on his chest are 炒饭 (chǎofàn), which means "fried rice". ◾Pilaf is most commonly associated with the One-Star Dragon Ball, as he was the one in possession of it during Goku's first two quests for them. Even in Dragon Ball GT, when he discovers the Black Star Dragon Balls, the One-Star Ball is the one he picks up. ◾Interestingly, Pilaf's affinity for the One-Star Ball is shared with Syn/Omega Shenron, the final villain in GT, and thus the final major villain in the entire Dragon Ball anime series. In contrast, Pilaf was the first major villain of the series (being the main enemy in the first saga of Dragon Ball), as well as the one who (inadvertently) started the first arc of GT. ◾It is revealed in the anime only that Shu and Mai aren't his only minions and in "The Emperor's Quest", there is one who left a spy tracker in Skull Valley. Mai mentions that after he left the tracker, he was never heard from again. It is assumed this spy was killed by the Wolves. Another minion is later heard calling Pilaf on a crocodile-shaped telephone. ◾In the 9th Dragon Ball Z movie, Bojack Unbound, Pilaf, Mai and Shu are on cards in a card game Goku and King Kai are playing. ◾Emperor Pilaf makes a minor appearance in Dr. Slump and Arale-chan: N-cha! Love Comes From Penguin Village where he is in a crowd with Mai, Shu, Oolong, Launch, King Nikochan and his servant, Pink and Cobalt Blue. ◾The Dragon Ball Z anime movie/filler villain Garlic Jr. looks and sounds very similar to Pilaf, sharing the same voice (same Japanese voice only in the Garlic Jr. Saga), skin color and diminutive size, except Garlic Jr. is a much more serious villain.